It’s finally that time – you’re now on the market for a roofing contractor to replace your home’s or business’s roof. Maybe you just need your roof repaired and are trying to find someone to fix the issues. Both circumstances require an investment of time and money, so you want to make the best and most informed decision possible.
For a thorough search, you should get quotes from multiple companies and compare them. As you’re dealing with several companies, it can be hard to distinguish who is the best and why. We are here to provide you with eight key ways to learn about a roofing contractor before you sign on the dotted line.
1. Get Reviews and Referrals
As you begin your search, you likely have neighbors, family or friends who told you about a roofing company that they worked with, whether good or bad. You’ll want to take these referrals and check them out online. Don’t just take the recommendation from people within your immediate circle, but see what other customers say about their experience with that roofing company.
You should check out the following listings to see who recommends the business and look for additional comments regarding client interactions. Do this by searching in Google, “[roofing contractor’s name] Better Business Bureau,” for example, and click on the relevant result to go to their profile:
Look at these various review sites and feel free to take it slow when sifting through all the information. You can usually get a general feel for a company’s reputation — you can likely trust a business with a wealth of positive reviews to manage your new roofing project. The company itself should also have a website providing various information. Use the site to look for some key details:
- Past work: Look for pictures of past jobs and before-and-after photos. These will give you concrete evidence of their quality of work and will also speak to the company’s confidence. A business that’s proud of its work will have photos to show off what it’s done. A quality roofing company may even have a portfolio to display various projects they’ve worked on throughout the years. An in-depth portfolio is a great sign that a contractor is reliable. Along with a portfolio, trusted companies will probably have a section for testimonials from past customers.
- Years in business: Past work might also indicate how long the company has been in business. The more projects the company has completed and the longer it’s been in business, the more reliable it probably is.
- Satisfaction guarantee: It’s one thing to get the job done — it’s another skill entirely to please the customer. Look for satisfaction guarantees and make sure the company is interested in more than just doing the work and getting paid. Your chosen contractor should be committed to doing a quality job, too.
You also want to ensure that this company has experience with your type of project. Once you’re in contact with your sales representative at the company, ask him or her for references that you can speak with directly! This is especially helpful if you have a more custom project based on the material you’re interested in or how complicated your roof’s design is – you can talk to other customers who had a similar job to yours.
2. Be Patient
One of your most important tools throughout this whole process is patience. If you’re intent on rushing to find the first contractor you can, you probably won’t get the best quality. You may get lucky and find some reliable roofing contractors, but you’re much better off taking time to do your research to ensure you find a reliable contractor.
Your roof is an essential part of your home — it offers protection, aesthetics and resale value. If you sprint through the roofing process, you could neglect putting the right amount of effort into a significant element of your house. By methodically going through these steps, researching and communicating, you can gain confidence in knowing how to choose a roofing company.
Selecting a roofing business involves many steps, and being patient throughout the process will benefit you in the future.
3. Check Licensing and Insurance
You’ll want roofing professionals who carry the correct state licenses working on your home. This could prevent many problems down the road — from the integrity of the work completed to the building codes in your area. For a contractor to receive their license, they are required to meet a minimum of designated hours of work experience and pass a building code knowledge test.
With no license, the roofer isn’t considered a bonded contractor. Bonded contractors have a type of insurance covering your project if it becomes unfinished for some reason. If your unlicensed contractor doesn’t complete the job, there are limited compensations or legal actions you can take.
If the roofing contractor isn’t licensed, that also means they’re not insured. An unlicensed contractor without insurance means no liability or workers compensation insurance. The roofer won’t cover any damages to your home, so you’re responsible for paying for any repairs. Plus, if the contractor’s employee gets hurt working on your roof, you may have to pay all their medical expenses.
Make sure the contractors working on your roof are licensed. Pennsylvanians can use the Home Improvement Consumer Information Tool to check the companies they’re considering working with.
4. Emphasize Safety
Your daily routine shouldn’t be greatly affected by the roofing crew replacing your roof. You want to be confident in the safety measures actively taken by the crew members and know everyone is acting in a safe manner. This is where the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) agency steps in.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act, signed into law in 1970, states that employers have the responsibility and obligation to provide a safe workspace. Standards, training, outreach, education and assistance for a safe work environment became enforceable through fines, penalties and potential business shutdowns.
For the roofing industry, OSHA requires fall protection, which companies can achieve through different means — i.e. guard rail system, safety net system or personal fall arrest system. Roofing companies’ work sites must be OSHA compliant – make sure to ask roofing contractors what they use as their fall protection method and if they are OSHA compliant.
5. Check Warranties
Between the workmanship and the materials, it’s important to know that your home is going to be protected long after your new roof installation is completed. You could hire the best roofing company in the world, but material failure is always on the table. Each roofing company likely has a manufacturer of choice for each material they install or repair.
The manufacturer warranty, as contractors will refer to it, is how long after installation the company producing the roof material will cover any failures and to what extent. The length of coverage differs based on the material type, the quality of the roofing system and the manufacturer itself.
What if you are installing the longest-lasting material in the world? Well, you need to make sure it’s installed correctly. Ask your roofing companies what their workmanship warranty is. This is a set amount of time that roofers will take responsibility for any problems that arise as a result of improper installation.
Many roofing companies boast a long workmanship warranty period, but then you find the warranty is not transferable to a future homeowner or has other limitations. These issues are why it’s essential to get all the details of your workmanship warranty so you’ll know what to expect in the future.
The style, frequency and quality of communication between you and your potential roofing contractors are key for a successful project. According to the Better Business Bureau, roofing contractors are the most complained-about service provider in the construction and home improvement industries.
From submitting the online form to making the first phone call, pay attention to the entire process. Are the next steps clear? Do you feel comfortable or rushed talking to the employees? Are you a priority?
Every company approaches its sales process differently, especially as more advanced technology becomes available and clients become increasingly impatient. Customers typically don’t want to wait longer than a couple of days to receive an estimate.
Feel free to ask for clarity regarding timelines and scope. If the team is responsive, resourceful and respectful from the first conversation through final decision time, you should feel confident the company won’t leave you in the dark when your roofing project actually begins.
7. Educate Yourself
With the chaos in your daily life, it might be easy to push all the details of your project into a roofing contractor’s hands. However, being knowledgeable about the process and having a clear picture of what the contractor will do means you’ll know if the finished product is adequate. This is your roof, after all, so you want to make sure you know what your chosen roofing company is planning.
Before the project even begins, ensure you know the repairs or replacements you need and why. You can ask the contractor about various next steps and the details for how they’ll make repairs. Knowing exactly what will be done to your roof will help you understand what the finished product should look like and give you some peace of mind during the process.
8. Finance Your Project
A full roof replacement isn’t something everyone can afford to pay out of pocket. Maybe you recently had to replace your HVAC system or your daughter is heading off to college – whatever it may be, a $10,000+ reroofing project may not be in the budget. However, many roofers do provide financing options, offered through a third-party company like Hearth or Acorn Finance.
Your payment choices will vary depending on three factors:
- Credit score
- Current debt
Working with a company with these flexible options is ideal. You want to make sure they can meet your roofing needs but also stay affordable.
How to Choose a Roofing Company
Go ahead and print this article to make yourself a checklist for hiring a roofing contractor. Prior to making your final decision, run down this list and see if your roofing contractors have passed each section. Some areas may mean more to you than others, so weigh them as you see fit! Here’s a brief summary of some key aspects to check off before making your final choice.
Allow yourself to be patient throughout the process and do adequate research to find a trusted roofing company. Talk to family and friends who have worked with various companies, and look at review sites for positive testimonials. When you’ve narrowed down your options, check out the company’s site as well and look for a portfolio of previous projects, work experience and any additional information that could help you with your final decision. A professional site could reflect how they handle their overall business.
It’s easy to say you’d like to find a reliable roofing company, but deciphering what this means and figuring out if a business is truly dependable can be challenging. Reviews and past work will help give you some confidence. You should also look for key signs like licenses, insurance, safety measures, warranties and various financing options to determine whether you have the right roofing contractor.
Adequate safety measures and licenses will show you the company’s knowledge and legitimacy, while warranties will express the confidence they have in their own work. When financing the project, find a residential roofing contractor that caters to you, offering flexible options you can take advantage of.
One of the most significant signs of whether a company is reliable is its ability to communicate. If you’re struggling to get information, schedule projects or simply get in contact with the contractors, this is a bad sign. If a company is completely open, communicative and proactive, this is an excellent sign that your project will always have an open line of communication.
With roofing projects, you want open communication channels so that you can always be aware of finishing dates or any issues that might come up.
Ready to Sign?
Before officially signing the contract, read it in full. Don’t let your eyes glaze over while reading any terms and conditions because these fine details could cause issues if you’re not careful.
After you’ve signed your contract, double-check with your selected roofer after about 24 hours to ensure they received it and establish next steps! (This is, of course, if they haven’t already confirmed and told you what the next steps are.)
Contact Joyland Roofing
If you’re interested in working with a licensed, experienced and trusted company in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Joyland Roofing would love to provide you with a free quote. With decades of experience and a team dedicated to quality work, we’re the roofing company you’ve been looking for. Fill out a form to tell us about your situation or give us a call.